Day end detritus, evidence of the varied conditions encountered. Working its way up from the holes on the sled bottom, grit has congealed on the backpack which rested in the sled bottom. The gas can and tent (orange tube in the background) are bungee corded outside the pack. The gas lid appeared to be snug but I filtered the fuel to prevent possible contamination and fouling of stove jets. Inevitably, fine particles of sand ended up in our food, unpleasantly grinding tooth enamel. The sunscreen on cheeks and noses provided a convenient adhesive for sand as well! I had raccoon eyes outlined by sand. Yuk!
Tumbling Glacier feeds directly into Crater Lake. We double camped here to enjoy a full day exploring this easily accessible glacier. Other glaciers are accessible but only with an uphill climb (or were snow covered). Descending 1000m / 3280 ft, this glacier has retreated since 1959 when it’s tongue extended into Glacier Lake.
Inside the Tumbling Glacier. Throwing caution to the wind, the idea of standing under a glacier was just too tempting to ignore. Only a 10m scramble up from Crater Lake, once inside, the glacier underbelly narrowed quickly from standing room to hands and knees to less than that. Deathly quiet and calm, the tomb like interior sent chills up my spine. Spooked by an ominously small ‘plunk’ (rock? Ice? Glacier retreat?), we hastily beat a retreat back to the sun.
The bright sun restored my crumbled bravado up; I climbed higher to inspect the next opening. But this too was short lived as term ‘active’ glacier took on new meaning. Gazing about, a basketball sized rock bounced from above, narrowly missing Patrick’s head. Eyes round, I took that as a serious warning and beat a hasty retreat.
Looking downstream the Weasel across from the Crater Lake moraine. The snow has completely disappeared either melted or covered by sand. The Weasel itself has narrowed to a slim ribbon. In the far distance is Overlord. I stood at this point 10 days ago, feeling this was going to be an exercise in survival. How completely my feelings have changed!